There are numerous excuses for not exercising and not wanting to work out. When I started my fitness journey, I constantly made up reasons to take days off and quit. These were my most common excuses, with solutions on how I managed to tackle them.
Photos are of the beautiful @_carlyoga
Excuses for not exercising: “I have already eaten badly”
Tackle: Imagine a messy room – plates scattered everywhere, crumbs on the floor, marks on the windows. Rather than cleaning, you decide to wait a few more days. Eventually, you’ll end up with an even dirtier room and more work. Our bodies don’t cancel out food because we’ve decided our diets can start Monday.
To move this train of thought, change your mindset. If you are going to indulge – indulge. Don’t guilt trip yourself or start electing ‘healthy days’.
A good tip: plan ahead. If you’re going out for an evening meal and plan on enjoying dessert, consider eating lots of vegetables for lunch, and something nutritious for breakfast.
The excuse: “I’m too tired to exercise and don’t have enough time”
Tackle: This is a tough excuse because it varies for each individual. When I was working long hours and enduring lengthy commutes, I would look for spare minutes in between my day. If my food needed 20 mins of cooking in the oven for instance, I would use that 20 minutes to do a quick workout.
To cut back my use of trains and tubes, I began to power walk half of my journey. While this was difficult at first (I’m not a morning person), quickly I began to notice walking benefits. My energy increased; I felt less tired and more alert. Just exiting your bus or tube a stop early, can impact your fitness regime.
Many fitness individuals set out an exercise plan when they have a busy schedule, writing exactly what they will do and for how long. Looking at your diary can help your mark down allocated slots for running, walking, swimming, gym etc.
The excuse: “I can’t stop eating chocolates, biscuits, sweets”
Tackle: Out of sight, out of mind!
It’s human nature to desire a bowl of snacks or treats presented in front of us. Science proves we’re more prone to eat what’s close-by – even if we have no cravings. I have an enormous sweet-tooth and I’m the kind of person that will easily munch through a packet of something – virtually for the sake of it.
To combat this, I told myself that whenever I fancy a chocolate bar or ice-cream etc., I will have to walk to my local shops to purchase one. Eventually, I cut down on my daily intake and can now have chocolate around the house without being allured to finish every mouthful. My exception to this is Sunday!
I recommend keeping an eye on when you desire sugar. Notice your habits: are you running to sweet snacks on an empty-stomach, or do you grab them as you watch T.V? See if you can swap these moments for natural sugar alternatives. Placing a bowl of fruit next to you can help keep you occupied.
And when fruit doesn’t cut it, there are countless healthy dessert recipes to sample. Look for recipes that offer few ingredients. You want something that’s easy to make so you don’t instantly reach for candy and processed food.
The Excuse: “It’s hard to find healthy food and it takes too long to cook”
Tackle: Unfortunately, as I discussed here, finding meals that are packed with nutrition can feel like trying to get a seat on a morning train. Cafe’s, restaurants and food chains are abundant with refined sugar, high salt and saturated fat. If you do manage to come across a wellness cafe or a healthy meal option, you tend to find a dramatic increase in price.
In these instances, I try to search for a decent balance. Perhaps a salad without the sauce, or a burger without a side of fries. I also stock up on cashew nuts and bean packets, to carry around when I am out. Meal prepping is hugely popular and a few hours on a Sunday can help prepare you for work lunches.
In terms of cooking, I refuse to accept that healthy food takes long. In general, most healthy recipes that I view, only require food prep in the form of cutting and slicing vegetables. My solution is to practice and experiment in the kitchen. In 2015, I could just about cook pasta; in 2017, I can make a recipe from scratch using spare household ingredients.
For more advice on recipe ideas, consider reading:
The excuse: “I don’t like going to the gym”
Tackle: Do you have to go to the gym to be healthy? Well, in 2020, we’re inundated with home digital fitness support. From watches that track running distance, fitness apps with exercise classes, and workout programs such as Beach Body.
It’s easy to put the gym as one of your excuses for not exercising. They’re typically expensive, not always nearby, and sometimes intimidating. But, with YouTube and the internet, home workouts have never felt easier.
What are your biggest excuses for not exercising, and how do you manage to overcome them? Which of my excuses resonated with you most?